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Steelers Earn High Marks From CBS Sports For Landing Patrick Peterson

After losing out on Cameron Sutton in free agency to the Detroit Lions, the Pittsburgh Steelers and GM Omar Khan pivoted quickly, breaking the mold in the process, by agreeing with 32-year-old cornerback Patrick Peterson on a two-year deal worth roughly $14 million.

On paper, it’s a curious fit between Peterson and the Steelers. He’s not a one-to-one replacement for Sutton, who was able to slide back and forth between the outside and the slot. Peterson hasn’t done that much in his career and profiles as more of an outside cornerback.

Despite questions about the overall fit, the agreement with Peterson on a deal by the Steelers earned high marks from CBS Sports’ Tyler Sullivan Monday night in his free agency grading. Sullivan gave the Steelers an “A” for landing Peterson on the first day of the legal tampering period. Peterson can’t officially sign with the Steelers until Wednesday at 4 p.m. when the new league year starts.

“While they lost Cam Sutton to the Lions, the Steelers replaced him with a cornerback who may end up in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The Steelers came to terms¬†with eight-time Pro Bowl cornerback Patrick Peterson on a reported two-year, $14 million deal,” Sullivan writes regarding his grade for the Steelers’ move in free agency. “Peterson’s ability to make splash plays is one of the things that probably led to the Steelers signing him. Last season, Peterson picked off five passes, his highest total in 11 years. Pittsburgh will likely be looking to add playmakers to their defense after the unit largely struggled to do so during the early stages of the 2022 season.

“Age is the only concerning thing here, as Peterson will be 33 before the start of next season. But given what he did last year (he played in each of the Vikings’ 17 games), Peterson appears to play younger than his actual age. He can also serve as a possible mentor in the event that the Steelers use the No. 17 overall pick to select Penn State cornerback Joey Porter, Jr.”

Peterson may certainly end up in the Hall of Fame when it’s all said and done, so the Steelers did well to add a player of his caliber to the secondary, even if he’s a bit on the older side.

While losing Sutton hurts, the Steelers aren’t in desperate need of playmakers in the secondary. Pittsburgh tied for the league lead in interceptions last year with 20. Peterson’s pedigree, much more than his five interceptions last season, had more to do with Pittsburgh’s interest than anything else.

He’s a cerebral player with a ton of experience. He’s seen it all and will be a good leader for a young cornerback room that will likely have a rookie or two added to it through the 2023 NFL Draft. In that sense, the Steelers did a good job getting that type of leader in the room. He won’t be just a leader, though. Peterson can still play and played at a solid level in 2022.

We’ll see if he can keep that up in the Steel City. It’s a solid addition to a veteran defense aiming to win now.

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